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Virtual reality for improving balance in patients after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis [with consumer summary]
Li Z, Han X-G, Sheng J, Ma S-J
Clinical Rehabilitation 2016 May;30(5):432-440
systematic review

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality interventions for improving balance in people after stroke. DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. METHODS: Studies were obtained by searching the following databases: Medline, CINAHL, Embase, Web of Science and CENTRAL. Two reviewers assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed trial quality. RESULTS: Sixteen studies involving 428 participants were included. People who received virtual reality interventions showed marked improvements in Berg Balance Scale (mean difference 1.46, 95% confidence interval 0.09 to 2.83, p < 0.05, I2 = 0%) and Timed Up and Go Test (mean difference -1.62, 95% confidence interval -3.07 to -0.16, p < 0.05, I2 = 24%) compared with controls. CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials supports the use of virtual reality to improve balance after stroke.

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